The Supreme Court has affirmed the order of Bombay High Court which had denied admission to a medical aspirant in the MBBS course in NAMO Medical Education and Research Institute, Silvassa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu as the same is against the reservation policy of the college.
A two-judge bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Hemant Gupta has observed that the policy of admission to MBBS course in NAMO Medical Education and Research Institute, Silvassa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu for academic year 2020-2021, as stated in its ‘Academic Prospectus 2020-2021’ is to give the benefit of ‘First Priority’ for admission to those candidates whose parents were domiciles of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli or Daman and Diu and had studied at a recognised school in Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daor or Diu from classes 8th to 12th.
The petitioner was a medical aspirant in the present case and had pursued her studies in Class VIII to X in a school in Sarigram, Gujarat, which is at a distance of 17 kilometres from her residence in Daman. Later, she shifted to Ahmedabad, Gujarat to pursue her studies in Classes XI & XII.
Out of the 150 seats for admission in the MBBS Course in the College, inter alia, 22 seats are reserved for the All India Quota, and 58 seats each for the candidates of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu. The eligibility criteria was set out in the notice published in the official gazette of the Union Territory Administration of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
The Bombay High Court had noted in its order that prior to presenting the writ petition, the petitioner was fully aware of the policy, yet, has not questioned the constitutional validity of a provision like paragraph 4(a). “Without challenging the constitutional validity of such provision, the petitioner urges the court to read down paragraph 4(a). Such a course of action is not permissible,” said the High Court.
It had further noted that, “Even otherwise, we have failed to comprehend as to how paragraph 4(a) could be branded as constitutionally invalid, if indeed, a challenge to this effect were laid. The object of paragraph 4(a) is clear. The Union Territory administration intends to give the “first priority” to those students who have not only pursued studies from Classes VIII to XII in any of the recognized schools situate within such territory for admission to the 116 seats (58 + 58) reserved for the candidates of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu but have also been successful in clearing the Board Examinations at the Class X and Class XII levels from such schools. The general principle as contained in paragraph 4(a) does not sound illogical because it seeks to encourage those candidates who, despite the adversities arising from lack of sufficient number of quality schools in the Union Territory, elect to pursue studies in whatever schools are available therein and excel in their academic pursuits.”
“Only those candidates of Daman & Diu would be entitled to the “first priority” who satisfy the conditions mentioned in paragraph 4(a). The petitioner did satisfy the first condition of being domiciled in Daman, but not having pursued studies in any of the recognized schools in the Union Territory between 2014 and 2018 did not satisfy the other conditions and cannot, thus, claim the benefit of the “first priority”; more so, after having participated in the NEET, 2020 and realized that the marks obtained by her in such examination would not entitle her to secure admission in the said medical college in any of the 22 seats reserved for the All India quota, the petitioner is estopped from raising this plea,” the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G. S. Kulkarni had said.
The Supreme Court has upheld the order of the Bombay High Court and said, “a policy decision is not ordinarily interfered with by the Court in exercise of its power of Judicial Review.”
“The well reasoned judgment of the Bombay High Court, in our view, requires no interference by this Court and certainly not at this stage. The Special Leave Petition is, thus, not entertained and is dismissed accordingly,” said the Apex Court.
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